No Fame For the Un-famous

Seeking notoriety in this day and age can be a difficult task.

Life is nothing if not ironic.

Take writing, for example. Most writers (even humble journalists) dream of a big payday through having their creative works fawned over by a publisher, released to rave reviews and hitting the best-sellers list. Anyone who’s tried it knows that just getting a publisher to read your material is a minor miracle.

“What am I doing wrong?” I’ve often thought, as the queries go mostly unanswered and the rejection letters I do get continue to pile up. Then it hit me! And here’s the irony. In order to become famous, I would have to have been famous to begin with, and I’m definitely not that.

Our own Sen. Scott Brown didn’t get a book deal until he wooed voters and got himself not only elected, but famous in the bargain. Now he’s a hot literary item, with the release of his “Against all Odds.” Sweet!

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick received a generous $1.35 million advance to write his autobiography. I’d settle for a buck-thirty-five for mine, but so far, no takers. Nearly every U.S. president has cashed in on their four to eight years of fame with tell-(not-quite)-all tomes that pay a lot more than the office itself does.

I found out recently that even the cast of HBO’s hit series “True Blood” is hawking a book. I wonder if the public will bite and if any of the reviews happened to contain the word “suck.” That’s just my warped sense of curiosity. Anyway, I do see a pattern here. Politicians and vampires. Okay, I know what you’re thinking, and shame on you. “What,” I ask myself, “can I do famously so that I may become famous?”

I could run for political office, I suppose, but there’s no chance that I’d win. Nobody knows me. Anyway, I’m not good with politics. I often get lost just traveling along the corridors of the town hall.

I could become a criminal. A lot of them have been published, you know. I’m guessing that they’re good reads, too. After all, most of the authors have had years to write them. Some as many as 20 to life, minus, of course, those few precious hours lost while exercising in “the yard.”

Do I have it in me? Upon reflection, I’d have to say no. Heck, I get sweaty palms just trying to redeem expired gift cards at a restaurant. I even add an extra coin or two to my rolled-up pennies so that, when I cash them in, I’ll be sure not to set off any “he’s miscounted” alarms and have the police start sending in hostage negotiators. Hardly the makeup of a master criminal.

I actually don’t write books. I’ve decided I’m better at writing screenplays, although so far, nobody has agreed with that assessment. “Books,” I tell myself, “are too hard to get published," not to mention the fact that they’re expected to contain an awful lot of words. So, I picked an easier literary form, not minding that every fourth person in America is writing a screenplay. I’ll bet there’s a few thousand screenwriters in Holliston alone.

I’ve even ignored the fact that most Hollywood power brokers have the same mentality as book publishers. If I ever manage to sell a script that becomes a huge hit, demanding sequels and lucrative merchandising deals, then they’ll talk to me. Otherwise, as a famous Mafia author once wrote, “forgetaboutit.”

And that’s too bad, ‘cause I’ve got a few sure-fire winners gathering dust on the shelf. “The Selectman Who Dissented” is a natural. My “Confessions of a Holliston High School Tuba Player” would be ideal for the coveted 16-25 demographic.

I’ve even got the action/suspense genres well represented with “The Cable Bill That Kept Rising.” And let’s not forget “Tongue In Cheek: the Holliston Patch Column”, which would, no doubt, be a box office smash should they decide to film it in eye-popping 3D.


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